Healthy Brain Development in Baby’s Second Year

Humans are one of the only species on earth born unfinished. Throughout this month, we are talking about giving babies their best start, and in this episode Jenni and Jody are talking about things parents and caregivers can do in the baby’s second year of life to boost brain function.

 

This show is part of a series on giving babies their best start. Be sure to check out the other episodes in the series.

Episode #1 — Giving Babies Their Best Start in the First Year with therapist Aimee Ketchum

Episode #2 — Healthy Brain Development in Baby’s Second Year with Jenni and Jody

Episode #3 — Potty Training Pro Tips with author Jaime Glowacki

Episode #4 — Montessori Principles Parents Can Use at Home with educator Lorna McGrath

This Week’s Show Topic

Portrait of a crawling baby

In this episode, we’re talking about development in the baby’s second year — that is from their first to their second birthday.

This year’s most dramatic changes involve the brain’s language areas, which are developing more synapses and becoming more interconnected. This is the year of the vocabulary explosion. Often a child’s vocabulary will quadruple between his first and second birthday. During baby’s second year there is also an increase in myelination, which helps the brain perform more complex tasks.

And this is also the time when baby’s self awareness begins to develop. A child in his second year is actually more aware of his emotions and intentions. During this year, a child may even begin to use his own name and personal pronouns.

These are two areas of development that we are focusing on in this show:

  1. helping our baby’s language development
  2. their social-emotional development, which includes self awareness.

All of this happens in the brain. From birth to three baby’s brain is making 700 new neural connections every second! A child’s relationships, environment and experiences all affect the connections they make and there is so much parents can do to help brain development.

Early brain development is the foundation of human adaptability and resilience, but these qualities come at a price. Because experiences have such a great potential to affect brain development, children are especially vulnerable to persistent negative influences during this period. On the other hand, these early years are a window of opportunity for parents, caregivers, and communities: positive early experiences have a huge effect on children’s chances for achievement, success, and happiness. — The Early Childhood Project

Caught in the Act

This week’s “Caught in the Act” is very near and dear to our heart — it is Jody’s sister Jamey Clauson! Jamey and her husband Jon have four great kids ages 9 to 22. Jamey has homeschooled all four kiddos. She and her husband also serve as children’s pastors at their church.

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Jon and Jamey Clauson

Over the holiday season, Jamey’s nine-year-old daughter Sophia dressed up like Cindy Lou Who for church event, and she looked AMAZING! Some of the ideas for the costume came from Sophia herself. In this episode, Jamey is talking to us about some things she has done to create an environment that breeds creativity.

Sophia dressed as Cindy Lou Who with her aunt Jody

Sophia dressed as Cindy Lou Who with her aunt Jody

Brother, Brother Music

brother brother

Hey, if you dig the sound of POP Parenting, we encourage you to check out Brother Brother! They are a super fun two-man Indie Americana band comprised of brothers Bradley and Brett Anderson. They have a new album coming out soon, and we have had the chance to hear some of it — it’s awesome! So go visit them, like them on Facebook and check out their music.

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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